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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/148

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The History of Sindban and

wealth. Now it happened one day that the spirit addressed the man as follows: 'I am about to depart, and you will never again behold me; nevertheless, I shall teach you three things, and then I'm off.' So the man went about very miserable at the departure of the spirit. On his wife beholding him, she asked him: 'Wherefore is thy countenance sad, and thy colour changed?' He answers her: 'Because the spirit which I possessed, which was wont to instruct me in all things, and out of which I used to make profit, has now gone from me, never to return.' And as the man told his wife these things, she also was troubled; and seeing her troubled, he said to her: 'But he taught me this: Ask of God three things, and he will give them thee.' And she answered him: 'This is sufficient for thee, don't grieve!' The husband says to her: 'Now what do you advise me to ask of God?' The wife, owing to her being intemperate in her desire, answered him thus: 'You are aware that there is nothing which is as pleasing to a man as intercourse with women. Now, petition God that he increase unto you your desire.' And he replied: 'Thou hast spoken well.' And he besought God to give him increased desire, (he had but one before); and he furthermore besought incessantly, so that he had quite a number, and they harassed him. When he saw what had befallen him, his wife became an object of sport in his own eyes, he insulted his wife with reproaches, and gave her blows, and said to her: 'Are you not ashamed of yourself on my account, that such were your counsels?' To which she replied to him: 'Don't grieve! there remain to you two things: Petition God that these may depart from you!' Thereupon he prayed to God, and all of them departed from him, including the one which he had previously. Now the man became terribly excited and wanted to kill his wife: and she asked him: 'Why are you excited? there remains to you yet one thing: Beseech God to restore to you the first one.' And now, my sovereign lord, don't give ear to the story of a wicked woman.